with Ben Kwok
nanyang bank marketing pitch just tool good to be true for techtronic
Lai See likes a good print advertisement - so much so we once thought of becoming a copy writer in an ad agency. Unfortunately, no agency in town really shared our own high opinion of our talent in this department, and we ended up in business journalism.
No matter. We can still be the next best thing: an ad critic.
Exhibit one is Nanyang Commercial Bank's new marketing campaign for small and medium-sized enterprise loans. Drilling down for maximum effect, the Bank of China (Hong Kong) unit has gone with the handyman image to project its no-nonsense support of enterprise and honest hard work.
One free rider of this hard-nosed advertisement could be Hong Kong-listed Techtronic Industries, which has grown to be the biggest producer of power tools in the world and would no doubt heartily agree with the bank's sentiments.
Exhibit two comes courtesy of top executive search firm Korn/Ferry, which recently put out an enticing advertisement in a financial magazine reading: 'At the top, there is no room for error. Work with the most trusted film [sic] in the world.'
If not a typo, perhaps they were recruiting talent for Steven Spielberg's Dreamworks.
when reason exits bandwagon window
Lai See hates to patronise, but those readers who actually bother to read about a company before investing in it should try a new book: Improving Corporate Governance for SMEs.
Published by Baptist University, the book makes use of seminar and student papers from the Master of Corporate Governance programme and offers the following cunning insight: 'The student approach to dissecting complicated corporate structures in Hong Kong may not make investors a Warren Buffett, but at least you may avoid some dead chickens.'
Wise words - unless, of course, you are in the middle of a periodic crazy Hong Kong concept boom, when one should jump on every bandwagon going, suspend all reason and hope for the best. Trust us, it works every time.
christians spread the good news
It was an unusual item in our reporters' daily diary log that caught the attention of Lai See's editors yesterday: 'Tea with a pastor - Lan Kwai Fong - Lai See'.
Tea with a pastor? In Lan Kwai Fong?
Lai See swears it was so, except that in the end we opted for coffee. And better still, it was all in the interest of professional self-improvement.
We were meeting with said pastor about Christian Solidarity Worldwide's upcoming 'Writers Workshop with Nury Vittachi: Christians retake the media'.
Vittachi, who formerly penned this column and is also a dedicated Sunday school teacher, will teach 'a crash course for Christians who want to write professional, newsworthy features and reports'. It's on Monday night at the Vine Centre, Second Floor, Two Chinachem Plaza, Central. For more details, e-mail email@example.com. We may see you there.
please tick here if you are alive
Murray Bailey, who compiles our Travel Trade column every Monday, thinks some airlines have a rather low notion of passenger intelligence.
A video shown to passengers arriving in Bangkok on Thai Airways helps them to fill out the immigration form. 'Where it says 'Family Name',' the voice advises in English, 'enter your family name. Next you will see 'Home Address'. Here you should note where you live'.
You don't say? One wonders what passengers travelling on other airlines do without this advice. Answer 'Yes' in the 'Sex' box and 'Human' when asked to indicate 'Race'?
Then there is a classic comment in Malaysia Airlines' current inflight health tips programme: 'It's important to keep your blood circulating.' And your heart beating, too, no doubt. Or is that the same thing?